April 3, 2006

Carl Zimmer has a terrific blog post on the subject of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) that should be mandatory reading for anyone who still denies common descent. ERVs are viruses that get inserted into the genomes of other organisms and are inherited by the descendants of that organism. He writes: Scientists can identify viruses lurking in our genome (known as endogenous retroviruses) by their distinctive DNA. A fully-functioning retrovirus sequence contains three genes–one for copying DNA, one for a shell, and… Read more

April 3, 2006

From an article in a Kentucky newspaper: To William Dembski, all the debate in this country over evolution won’t matter in a decade. By then, he says, the theory of evolution put forth by Charles Darwin 150 years ago will be dead. The mathematician turned Darwin critic says there is much to be learned about how life evolved on this planet. And he thinks the model of evolution accepted by the scientific community won’t be able to supply the answers…. Read more

April 3, 2006

Mark Creech, head of the Christian Action League, has replied to an article in Seed Magazine about the Clergy Letter Project and continued to spread the nonsense that I fisked a few weeks ago. In fact, some of it is even worse. He also defends the DI’s infamous list of scientists, most of whom are not in relevant scientific fields. He writes: Moreover, West argues the single largest group of the signers was biologists (154 of the 514). He adds:… Read more

April 3, 2006

John Lofton, the reconstructionist wingnut from the Constitution Party, has an interview with Newt Gingrich, author of a new book called The Creator’s Gifts: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, that is rather interesting for a couple reasons. First, because Gingrich doesn’t seem to know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: Well, I think it’s pretty clear in the original document, the Declaration of Independence of the Founding Fathers, that we are endowed by our… Read more

April 2, 2006

As I’ve worked on writing the preface to our book on the Dover trial, it has struck me how many of the arguments made by ID advocates today are identical to the arguments made, sometimes by the very same people, in defense of creation science in the McLean and Edwards cases in the 1980s. For example, we often hear them argue that ID is not a religious idea because it does not reference the Bible at all and in fact… Read more

April 2, 2006

John Allen Paulos’ column at ABC News is up and it’s quite interesting. In addition to his link to this blog concerning the Liberty University debate team, he also discusses a survey that shows that an enormous percentage of Americans have a negative opinion of atheists more than any other group: Asked whether they would disapprove of a child’s wish to marry an atheist, 47.6 percent of those interviewed said yes. Asked the same question about Muslims and African-Americans, the… Read more

April 2, 2006

This is why I say there is a double standard going on. Not one person has commented on my post where I quoted Bill Maher’s great line about Christians ‘turning water into whining” and complained that I’m perpetuating stereotypes of Christians or tarring all Christians even though not all Christians claim to be victims like the ones that line was aimed at. But that would be equally true, wouldn’t it? Of course not all Christians strike the martyr pose and… Read more

April 1, 2006

“I don’t know what people are afraid of with the ‘gay agenda’. Let’s face it, if you’re not gay, you’re not gonna be talked into it. Your heart can be swayed, your mind can be changed, but your dick…is incredibly stubborn.” Jon Stewart Read more

April 1, 2006

I was watching George W. Bush on TV the other day taking questions from an audience and bumbling through the answers when it suddenly struck me. Some people believe that our presidents are essentially picked for us by our corporate paymasters. If that’s the case, I’m pretty sure that whoever it was who decided that Bush should be the next president was the same person who gave Magic Johnson his talk show. Read more

April 1, 2006

Bill Maher had one of his “New Rules” last night about the ubiquitous “war on Christians” notion, particularly about last week’s conference on that subject. He rightly pointed out how silly it is for a group that comprises 80% of the population and controls all branches of government to pretend to be oppressed victims. And then he had a great, great line. He referred to this tendency to strike the victim pose by Christians as “turning water into whining”. I… Read more

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